Criteria for designation as a language testing organization

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Language testing agencies are designated by the senior director of Federal Economic Policy and Programs, serving as the minister’s delegate. Testing agencies will only be designated if they meet the following criteria:

A test must be appropriate for IRCC purposes by evaluating proficiency in the four skill areas (i.e., reading, writing, oral comprehension/listening, and speaking) in functional English or French at all levels from basic to high proficiency.
A test must produce consistently similar scores among candidates with similar language proficiency. The different versions of a test must be at the same level of difficulty each time the test is written.
A designated testing agency must meet security standards with respect to the logistics of preparing test sites, registering candidates, test writing and marking, sending out results, etc. Sufficient anti-fraud mechanisms must be in place for a test to be approved.
A designated testing agency for IRCC purposes should be able to make tests available to applicants in all parts of Canada and abroad where there is sufficient demand for third-party language testing.

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